Unskilled and Unaware of It


Alan Bellows has noted an interesting phenomenon – average person tends to believe he or she is better than average. Alan highlights two men’s predictions on their investigation and those predictions are well proved by their study:

Justin Kruger and David Dunning made the following predictions before beginning their investigation:

1. Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria.
2. Incompetent individuals will suffer from deficient metacognitive skills, in that they will be less able than their more competent peers to recognize competence when they see it–be it their own or anyone else’s.
3. Incompetent individuals will be less able than their more competent peers to gain insight into their true level of performance by means of social comparison information. In particular, because of their difficulty recognizing competence in others, incompetent individuals will be unable to use information about the choices and performances of others to form more accurate impressions of their own ability.
4. The incompetent can gain insight about their shortcomings, but this comes (paradoxically) by making them more competent, thus providing them the metacognitive skills necessary to be able to realize that they have performed poorly.

And more interestingly, competent indivduals tend to underestimate their performance:

… the top performers tended to underestimate their own performance compared to their peers. The researchers found that those participants fell prey to the false-consensus effect, a phenomenon where one assumes that one’s peers are performing at least as well as oneself when given no evidence to the contrary.


Unskilled and Unaware of It – [Damn Interesting]

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